Serving Life and Redemption at Angola State Prison

Prison Reform Movement's Weblog- America: Land of the Free, Home of the Incarcerated


Lisa R. Cohen’s film Serving Life (2011), a documentary originally produced for the Oprah Winfrey Network, smashes  stereotypes by introducing audiences to a number of prisoners who volunteer as care workers in the hospice at Louisiana State Prison, aka Angola.

Angola is the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, and used to be one of the most violent. The violence has dropped by 75% over the past several years, largely due to the changes brought in by Burl Cain, Angola Prison’s Warden. Cain, a religious man, believes that by appealing to the soul, prisoners can be truly rehabilitated and saved.

If you have a Netflix account, you can now stream “Serving Life” and it’s well worth your time. It gives you a powerful look into a program that is changing the lives of some of the most hardened prisoners.


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